Monday, April 4, 2011

How Does Your Body Image Affect Your Child?

A while ago I was sitting with my three sisters discussing the fat around our thighs. As many women do, we each thought that our legs were SO much bigger than the others'. Now, my sisters and I are far from fat, yet we still found a way to complain about our bodies. My five year old sister was with us and decided to join in on the conversation. When I heard her say, "no, my legs are so fat!", I knew that what we had said affected more than just the three of us.

There are 7 million women in the US and 1 million men that have an eating disorder. Could the cause of eating disorders partially be caused by the way women talk about themselves? Kids hear a lot of what we say, whether it is good or bad. If we are constantly bashing on our bodies, what chance do they have in creating a positive body image? Prevention starts young, and it starts with us.

I  found a great article written by Michael Levine called 10 Things Parents Can Do to Help
Prevent Eating Disorders
. Below are a few examples of the tips Levine gives in preventing eating disorders.

2. Examine closely your dreams and goals for your children and other loved ones. Are you overemphasizing
beauty and body shape, particularly for girls?
  • Avoid conveying an attitude which says in effect, “I will like you more if you lose weight, don’t eat so much, look more like the slender models in ads, fit into smaller clothes, etc.”
  • Decide what you can do and what you can stop doing to reduce the teasing, criticism, blaming, staring, etc. that reinforce the idea that larger or fatter is “bad” and smaller or thinner is “good.”
4. Make a commitment not to avoid activities (such as swimming, sunbathing, dancing, etc.) simply
because they call attention to your weight and shape. Refuse to wear clothes that are uncomfortable or
that you don’t like but wear simply because they divert attention from your weight or shape.

Eating disorders are deadly not just to the body, but to the soul as well. Click HERE to read the rest of the article by Michael Levine.

*Took info from: 

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